Monday, March 29, 2004

Last week, Connerly and croanies were dealt two big blows in their anti-affirmative action movement: one in Colorado and one in Michigan. Congratulations to all who worked hard on these victories. I posted on this before but apparently messed up so it didn't show up to the public.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Ward was trying to pull the wool over folks eyes, and the Ingham County judge agreed and threw out (really stalled) the petition drive aimed at ending affirmative action.

And I maybe a day late and a dollar short, but Citizens for a United Michigan finally has a webpage up.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Yesterday, the National Urban League released theState of Black America 2004 report which features an "equality" index. The full report is not available yet, and I hope they make it available online, but for now you have to buy the book to get details. The press release states that the status of Blacks is 73% of Whites. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Today Tavis Smiley did an interview with Alford Young Jr., an Associate professor of Sociology and African and Afroamerican Studies her at U of M... also my advisor. The converstation they had was on Al's new book The Minds of Marginalized Black Men. The book is expensive, but definitely dope. Lilsten to the interview and then buy the book!
The Free Press runs a q&a with Ward Connerly today.

One of my favorite excerpts
This is somewhat of a personal question. You are obviously a sincere person and have a lot of integrity. A lot of the people that are following you in this are sincere and well-intentioned, too. But there are probably a lot of them that really cannot be regarded as friends of black folks. They have sort of taken the banner of civil rights and equal rights, but certainly are not people who would have been marching in the '60s for anybody else. And a few of them probably are straight-up racists. How you do feel about making alliances with people like that?

I appreciate that and respect the question. I'm not making alliances with them. We are not seeking their endorsement. It's a free country, however. If they want to support us, then, although some of the things they may have done and may still continue to do in their conduct -- even a broken clock can be wrong twice a day. We're not asking them to support us. We are saying, this is what we believe in. And we can't control those who happen to attach to our views. It might make us uncomfortable politically. But, you know, just because (Unabomber) Ted Kaczynski believed in environmental protection doesn't mean that every environmentalist is somebody like Ted Kaczynski. That's just part of the politics of it.

And on the other side, there are people who oppose what we are doing, who wrap themselves in the swaddling clothes of equality, that are not good people. They are mean-spirited. They pursue their course by any means necessary. These are not good people, some of them. So, each side has its burdens to bear with respect to those that align themselves with our respective viewpoints

Hey Ward... the saying is even a broken clock is RIGHT two times a day.

Another excerpt:
I guess the question we should have asked at the beginning of this is, is there any construct in which you where race matters? Does race exist? Is it real in your mind?

A friend of mine once said, "Ward, there is your opinion, there is mine, there is perception and there is reality." And I think the perception is that race is real. We sort of think that there are these five races and we can go around this table and we could put you in that one, we could put you in this one. I don't think it is real. I think we come in different textures, different colors, from different parts of the globe. But we are one, extended human family that we have arbitrarily divided into these basic food groups and that was the original sin almost in this country with regard to race.

My response- the Thomas dictum, "If people define situations as real they are real in their consequences" The Q&A is long, but well worth the read. Hear it from the horse's mouth!

Here's an article from the Daily that outlines the ballot clash. Here is a piece from Ann Arbor on the move to block the petition legally. And a piece in the Detroit News that I must have missed on BAMN and their tactics. For alternative perspectives on BAMN and DAAP, it's U of M political wing, check out this site.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Thankfully, yesterday the Michigan House voted down the attempt to bring the Death penalty back to Michigan on the November ballot. The only way that this measure will get on the ballot is if they do a signature campaign and receive 300,000 signatures (sound familiar?).

Speaking of signature campaigns, you may have noticed emails yesterday going out about a cross burning in Macomb and an incident of racial intimidation at EMU in which a student was greeted at her door by someone in green klan regalia and these being a result of the Michigan ballot initiative. This may be a rare possibility, but of course this would mean that the KKK was really organized in the state, which maybe possible but still not likely in these cases. In Macomb there is rumor that the Macomb police were involved in the burning of the cross (also not that people are failing to mention that the couple is interracial) and at EMU whoever came to the door was most likely local. There is no one on security cams and no one has suggested anything suspicious who was on duty. These two possible Klan activities were likely more localized actions than coordinated in response to the MCRI. I really think assuming that this is the catalyst would be a leap of logic. And because I'm always interested in a good conspiracy theory, I could even go with them coming about in response to the police slaying in Detroit, speaking of which...After three weeks of hours arrest, the Joe Louis fist vandals Brett Cashman and John Price, are free until their trial goes to Wayne County Court. Let's not forget that at the base of the fist they left picture of the slain officers and "courtesy of fighting whities." Also, let's not forget they allege it was a political statement, not racism .... uh, no comment!

And I gotta stop posting now, because I gotta do some work, but before I go. Yesterday the Regents meeting was greeted with a lot of protest and seemed to definitely impact some Regents views. I prefer Rob Goodspeed's report of it, but you can also read this Daily article if you want. BE ALERT, MORE STUFF TO COME!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

The Daily printed a letter that was speared by Monique Perry on the Trotter proposal that features a laundry list of names from the MSA President to lil old me!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Below is announcement for what looks like a great event!




7PM - 9:30PM



This forum will address some of the analysis and strategies that might
develop when one centers African American and Native American women within
reparations struggle. That is, one of the human rights violations
perpetrated by state policy in the forms of slavery and boarding schools
has been sexual violence perpetrated by both slave masters and boarding
school officials. However, continuing effect of this human rights
violation has been the internalization of sexual and other forms of gender
violence within African and Native American communities. Can a reparations
framework speak to the specific types of harms that women of color have
suffered? If so, how? Are there demands around reparations for the types
of continuing effects of human rights violations that are evidenced by
violence within communities, but are nonetheless colonial
legacies? Furthermore, how can an analysis that frames gender violence as
a continuing effect of human rights violations perpetrated by state policy
challenge the mainstream anti-domestic/sexual violence movement to directly
challenge state-sponsored sexual violence as central to its work?

for more information: Andrea Smith, 734-231-1845

co-sponsors: CAAS, Native American Students Association, Institute for
Research on Women and Gender, Women's Studies, Detroit Chapter National
Lawyer's Guild, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, LSA Research and
Graduate Studies, Black Law Students Association, National Lawyers Guild (U
of Michigan Law School)
As a continuation of yesterday's surreal editorial, the Daily today printsthe Trotter House badly in need of 'U'-funded repairs. At some point, I still want to know if the Daily really thinks that the U is going to just decide to dedicate money despite the continued pressure from community members for years.

And the Daily continues on its tear of not providing solutions but suggestions resolutions are a bad idea. This time the resolution is about bias incidents. Geez, you know verbally or physically harassing someone is so "60s" good thing it doesn't happen any more! Don't allow anyone discretion, because they will certainly always err on the direction of overuse. For example, the woman at EMU, come on the man in Klan regalia could have just been trying out his Halloween costumes. Gosh, I hate political correctness. ;)

And here is a NY Times article on Brown and the search to examine the roll of slavery in their University. I know you had to jump through hopes to get to the other one.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Last Thursday at EMU, there is was an alleged incident of racial intimidation. Glennisha Morgan said she answered her door to find someone in something that resembled Klan regalia. EMU is looking into the incident though it is unlikely anything concrete will come of it. The same issues of permissible "hate speech" will remain.

In other news about free speech. A professor at my boy Andrew Van Alstyne's alma mater Saint Lawrence University. Bob Torres, an untenured Latino Sociology professor, at SLU has recently come under a lot of fire and national attention for the views he expressed on his personal website (blog). He expressed issues with the College Republicans and Bush. He has now become a national case example of free speech and alleged attempts at "intimidation."Here is one of his responses to the allegations. Here is a recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece on it- warning it's written by a writer for the conservative National Review. Lastly, here is the statement that the Department of Sociology released. Okay, that was a lot of links for one story!

On the local tip, the Michigan Daily publishes an opinion in opposition to the proposed 1 fee to be levied to work on the Trotter House aka the Trotter Multicultural Center. The editors reason that the resolution is simply a "stop-gap." What they fail to mention is that the U has been "discussing" improving the Trotter House for years, but has made no significant moves beyond a consultation on revisions (NO $ HAS BEEN PUT UP). The MSA resolution would first demonstrate that students are serious about the priority of the revision and could be the start of a matched campaign for the TH. This editorial really frustrates me because they clearly did not talk to the sponsors of the resolution. How do they propose to finally get the administration to action?

Friday, March 12, 2004

Larry Elder strikes back at Aaron McGruder, creator of the Boondocks by creating The McGruder award for most outrageous statement by a black public figure. This response was spured by this McGruder comic. Well good try Larry, here's a public announcement ... you're still not funny and young Black folks still don't like you.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Boxes and Walls is back on! The exhibit will run from March 22-25 at Hillel. Check out the website. Tours are given priority, so find a bunch of folks and roll through!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

There were two important things that occurred in Lansing yesterday. The first was the proposed gay marriage ban failed, and actually got support by 8 GOP members, miracles never cease to happen. Also, the death penalty was discussed more and the father of one of the slain officers announced plans to attempt to make the death penalty for convicted first degree murder a ballot question. Though Michigan was the first state to remove the death penalty, it is now considering running counter a growing trend of concern and opposition to the death penalty.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Daniel Adams argues that public opinion should not/will not be the harbinger of justice, especially not in the state of Michigan in his piecethe Tyranny of the Majority. Adams, though against Affirmative Action (I can forgive him. I like this editorial.), suggests that the public sentiments about race and equality have lagged behind the necessity for progressive policy. This is a really clear argument as to why letting people in "nowhere" Michigan who have no idea what "Affirmative Action" or "racial preferences" are decide on their existence. I must admit, like Saul Williams said, "Some forms of free speech make me nervous."

Monday, March 08, 2004

Despite trouble with establishment of links between slavery and companies in earlier reparations suits, Brown's President Ruth Simmons has opened a committee to examine Brown's ties to slavery! The article is difficult to access because you have to register, but nonetheless it's an interesting read!!!!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Action Alert! The Michigan political scene is going to be really crucial this coming year. There are a number of important things on the ballot. One thing that has not been getting much play, but is really important is the possibility of bringing the death penalty to Michigan! The conversation largely resurfaced after Eric Marshall, a black man, killed two White police officers in February in Detroit. Well we know that Black folks killing or addressing Whites in anyway beyond deference has to be met with excessive force from the powers that be and thus we're talking about the "death penalty" again in Michigan. The Friends have set up a website for armchair activism where you can voice your discontent for bringing this policy to MI. Here's some more information on the death penalties disparate impact on Black folks.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Rackham Dean Earl Lewis is leaving the University of Michigan for Emory. Dean Lewis is one of the highest ranking Black males here at U of M. And to many considered graduate students of color's greatest ally. I am pretty shocked and saddened that he's leaving. I sincerely doubt that whoever replaces him will look out for students of color as much as he did.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

A email message I received from the Native American Student Association chair- Nickole Fox about Michigamua

After creating beautiful powwow diag boards until 2am tonight, a group of
dedicated NASA members were about to venture home. However, we were caught off
guard by a suspicious group of students gathering near the fountain in
Michigamua Plaza (outside the union), appearing to hide something. These
students muttered "its NASA" and "ooo...the Chief." While we are not certain
of their affiliations on campus, it was clear they didn’t want to be around us
and it reminded me of what time of year it is: Michigamua recruiting time.

If you do not know, Michigamua has a long history of degrading Native American
Culture. They would wear loin clothes, paint themselves red and give each other
suto-indian names and use language of a broken English sort, like "me like um
squaw." They have been pictured in the yearbook smoking a pipe, with beers in
hand, on the presidents lawn. While these examples are wrong on many levels, I
encourage each person who receives this email to educate yourself about this
organization. I know it can be hard to understand some issues concerning
Native people, so to help you understand...if there is anything that confuses
you, think about the action if it was against another group of people. Think
about blackface, think about the KKK...

What I am asking of you is to
1) if you are a junior, and they want you to join, say no, no matter how much
the connections will benefit you. If you are interested in the community
service aspect of the org, join another group that does community service,
there are a ton of them, and if you need help finding one, I will gladly help.

2) If you are a current member: get out. its not worth it. the group may or
may not have changed their practices (they said they would change in the 70's,
again in writing in 89 and didnt!) but the history they carry in the name is
not worth your time. Imagine if the KKK decided one day to not be a racist
organization any longer....would KKK still mean the same thing to the people it
hurt? yes. Would you then join the KKK? Please know the history and know that
you are a part of an organization that was founded on hatred, do you really
want to be associated with that?

3) if you are alum of gamua: see #2

4) if you don’t fit any of the above, educate yourself, and everyone you know.

Here are some links:

More info
Even more info

Sorry if you receive this email multiple times. I just think this is something
everyone needs to know about, especially University students, alumni, faculty,
and staff.

Hoping for social justice,
Nickole Fox